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U.S. Congress prepares plan B for passing aid package that includes Ukraine - The Hill

Nadiya DanyshchukWorld
Lawmakers in both chambers are discussing not just one but two "plans B"

As House Speaker Mike Johnson refuses to put to a vote the bill approved in the Senate that includes aid to Ukraine, lawmakers in both chambers are preparing a plan B behind the scenes. They are considering two options.

The Hill reports that US lawmakers are trying to agree on another round of aid to Ukraine as soon as possible and finally put it on President Joe Biden's desk.

Among the options is the use of a petition, the so-called discharge petition procedure, which allows the issue to be put to a vote bypassing the speaker.

This procedure involves collecting signatures of a simple majority of the House of Representatives, meaning that 218 signatures are required.

The publication notes that for the discharge petition to succeed, Democrats in the lower house of Congress need to enlist the support of several Republicans. However, this is a political risk for them as they would be "openly opposing" their leadership.

So far, only one Republican, Greg Murphy, has publicly announced the possibility of joining the petition.

At the same time, Congressman Gregory Meeks (New York), the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he has already spoken to Republicans about signing the petition and believes it is the most likely way to get aid to Ukraine, given Johnson's staunch opposition.

"It's a way to do something bipartisan for our country's national security and to support our allies. It's urgent. Ukraine needs it need right now," the congressman emphasized.

The second option, which a number of U.S. lawmakers are considering in parallel, involves the adoption of an alternative bill that would include measures for border security and foreign aid, but for a smaller amount. It provides about $40 billion for Ukraine.

The initiators believe that their bill has a better chance of passage because it does not include money for humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, which could turn Republicans away.

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